The ticker symbol is the unique combination of letters assigned to stocks or cryptocurrencies that makes them distinguishable on exchanges and other trading applications.
In essence, a ticker symbol is the short combination of letters that is used to represent an asset, stock, or cryptocurrency token on various exchanges, swapping services, and other DeFi solutions.
For example, Bitcoin’s ticker symbol is BTC, while Ethereum’s ticker symbol is ETH. Ticker symbols are extremely important in the worlds of stocks and cryptocurrency alike. These are the identifying markers that allow traders to know what asset they are looking at.
Every stock and every cryptocurrency token has to have a unique ticker symbol. Usually, this symbol consists of a three-letter combination. However, with the rise in different altcoins, today, there are ticker symbols that consist of four or even five letters. Examples of such include Tether (USDT), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Polygon (MATIC).
In the constantly developing world of cryptocurrencies, ticker symbols play a vital role for traders. As new tokens launch by the minute, some of them may have very similar names. This is where ticker symbols make a difference. For example, someone new to the cryptocurrency world who wants to purchase Bitcoin can only be sure that they are buying the right token if they look at the ticker. You could confuse Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash; however, the latter’s ticker symbol is BCH, while Bitcoin’s ticker symbol is BTC.
In this sense, ticker symbols play a vital role for traders and investors who are trying to navigate the vast cryptocurrency universe. Without them, trading would be significantly more confusing.
Another important function ticker symbols play is to prevent fraud and scams. While two cryptocurrencies can have the same, or at least very similar names, they can never have the same ticker symbol. Scam tokens aim to replicate the name and token symbol as much as possible in order to fool investors into buying them. However, naming rules do not allow two stocks or two cryptocurrency tokens to have the same ticker. This means that one surefire way to avoid purchasing a scam token is to research and know the ticker symbol of the token you’re actually looking to acquire.
Ticker symbols were initially introduced on stock exchanges in the United States towards the end of the 19th century. As more stocks were introduced on the market, floor traders realized that they need a quick and easy way to communicate with each other regarding different companies. This is why ticker symbols were first invented.